side of head & arm, young woman

‘Alli’ 12×16″ charcoal & chalk


Why do they do it? Do you know? Always I am puzzled by why models are up on platforms in life drawing studios. Also (even stranger to me) portrait studios.

The frustration behind my question is, often the head or figure would be more interesting (or at least varied) viewed from somewhat above. Yet the line of sight even for standing artists is always above eye level.
1. Is this tradition universal?
2. Has anyone ever given you a reason for it?